Image Quality

Our test scene is designed to simulate a variety of textures, colors and detail types you'll encounter in the real world. It also has two illumination modes to see the effect of different lighting conditions.

The X-E3 offers essentially the same image quality as the rest of the most recent generation of X-Trans cameras (X-Pro2, X-T2 and X-T20). As with those, the you see the same resistance to moir that the X-Trans sensor promises. But you also see the same occasional glitching and slight loss in color detail that can occur as a side-effect.

Detail capture is comparable with its 24MP peers, both with high and low-contrast detail.

As higher ISOs, the noise performance is very good. The results aren't directly comparable with other cameras as there's clearly some kind of noise-reducing process occurring (either intentionally or as a by-product of demosaicing), but there's little in the way of any further detail loss, so this is shouldn't be a major concern.

JPEGs are where Fujifilm really shines. The sharpening isn't as sophisticated as the best of its peers (note how much more detailed the Sony's fine text looks), but there are no unpleasant artefacts or haloes. It doesn't preserve detail as well as the Sony system but it strikes a pretty good balance between noise reduction and detail preservation.

The real strength of the camera's JPEGs is their color response, which is punchy and saturated where needed but preserves skin tones such that the results look attractive. This is true not just of the default 'Provia' mode but also across the series of likable 'Film Simulation' modes. As with previous Fujifilm cameras, we find we get better results with the noise reduction turned down to between -2 and -4.

The only concern that would-be buyers should know about are the artifacts (which we speculate is an interaction between internal reflections and the sensor's unusual demosaicing), can leave a slight cross-hatched 'texture' pattern in your images. So watch out for the very occasional purple-tinged flare in your images, and re-shoot if you see it.

Dynamic Range

The X-E3's dynamic range is very good as, like its peers, it's based on one of the best-performing APS-C sensors on the market. However, unlike the Sony a6300 (that we believe uses a very similar chip), it uses a slightly higher minimum level of amplification (even in its extended 'ISO 100' setting), which prevents it quite matching its rival in terms of dynamic range.

Other than this, you can see the camera is adding very little electronic noise to its images: hence there's not much difference in terms of noise between shooting at ISO 3200 and using the same exposure in ISO 200 mode, then brightening. It's this characteristic the camera exploits to offer its DR modes, which allow higher ISO exposures to combined with lower-than-usual levels of amplification, which preserves up to two additional stops of highlight information.

Pull information up from the shadows of your images, to give a more balanced response in high-contrast situations and you'll find the X-E3 performs pretty similarly to the best of its peers, falling only a fraction behind the Nikon D7500.